How Long Should I Wait To Tell My Partner That I Fell In Love With Someone Else?

by Reid on November 16, 2019

How Long Should I Wait To Tell My Partner That I Fell In Love With Someone Else?


Cathy: So, someone wrote in and said they fell in love with someone who’s already in a poly relationship. They didn’t mean to fall in love it was not but the partner should not.


Reid: It is supposed to be casual.


Cathy: And they don’t know, the partner doesn’t know that the two of them love each other romantically.


Reid: They are not in an open relationship.


Cathy: Right.


Reid: Dating casually.


Cathy: Yes, and it was supposed to be a casual outside relationship.


Reid: Fell in love with the casual person.


Cathy: And they don’t know how to talk to…


Reid: And they haven’t told the partner yet.


Cathy: Yeah, they’re trying to they’re like so we wait until he’s more uncomfortable with us or with me or what do we do? So this is Reid Mihalko from


Reid: Cathy Vartuli from What’s your advice?


Cathy: I look at it from the point of view if I was that person and I found out he’d been going on for a long time and I wasn’t told I’d be a lot more hurt that if someone talk to me right away.


Ried: So, this is really interesting because this is kind of, it’s not the same question and thank you everyone who writes in. The question can be different. But there’s this interesting the dynamic of how long should we wait if we’re waiting because we want the other person to feel comfortable?


Cathy: Yeah.


Reid: Like we’re going to delay the information. Because we want the other person to get used to the situation. And hopefully like the situation. Right? That’s the hope is like “oh if we wait a little while it won’t occur as too hard too fast.


Cathy: Great.


Reid: And then the person will be able to handle the information or the truth differently than if we just if we just sprung it on them immediately.


Cathy: Know there’s a good point. I think like you if you’re waiting a month so you have a couple dinners I get to know you that’s like I if I’m putting myself in that position, I’d be like “maybe that’s ok” if it’s been six months I’m going to be pissed. Like that’s just like does it mean authenticity that would be me.


Reid: But so again, so it’s going to be different for everybody baseline concept or idea, most people’s relationship drama poly, monogamous, whether you’re swinger kink whatever most people’s relationship drama tends to come from dating people who are either horrible fits for you. You want to have kids, I don’t want to have kids. Monogamous or poly that’s going to cause some friction at some point, right because we’re both hoping for the other person to change. So, there’s upset that comes from bad fit and then there’s upset that comes from you are dating people who have, don’t have a high enough emotional intelligence. Which you could also fit in the bad fit category. But think of it this way if you dated people who knew themselves more and could handle life in all the weird ways human beings are weird and knew themselves really well and how they handle surprise, upset, jealousy, betrayal like if they just kind of like “Oh it’s not always pleasant but I can navigate life”, right? Dating people with higher emotional IQs or relationship IQs more self-awareness applied because you can know a lot about yourself like I know I should be doing such and such. But I don’t do it versus I know I should do such as much and I do it on a daily basis as a practice. Dating people with higher emotional intelligences tends to make for at least better drama in your relationships. So here, the question is, can you have a conversation with said partner about how long they would wait.


Cathy: Oh, that’s clever.


Reid: for information versus feeling comfortable in a situation. That might be a great conversation to have with all the poly people you’re dating in the beginning of dating. “Hey, just checking in coz you’re the partner of this person that I’m dating, I’m just curious like would you rather hear something sooner if you felt uncomfortable or wait a little bit for information when it was a good time?” Like what what’s your works well for you? Here’s a sticker and what has you feel more respected and seen as a human being important in the world?


Cathy: Hindsight 20/20 but like you could even as you’re negotiating “Okay, we’re going to be opened, we’re going to keep it casual” Like okay how if I notice something is not feeling casual what are you… how I’m going to tell you and what are our recourses?


Reid: Yeah, “Honey if we’re going to be Poly and date other people and what happens if I start to fall in love and I wasn’t intending on? Now this becomes problematic now, because you’re having a retroactive conversation and partners might be like “wait a minute”. Why didn’t you tell me this sooner in which case you’re “like I didn’t know sooner, I would have told you immediately if I thought that that was a good fit for you but I thought I made a judgment call that it would be better to wait. I’m sorry if that was the wrong call.” And then somebody with a high emotional IQ is like “Oh, yeah human beings do that sometimes I get it I wish you hadn’t but I understand where you’re coming from. It seemed like you were trying to be kind. And I’m a little upset but I know how to navigate my upset. Give me, don’t talk to me for two days and I’ll come back to you and then we’ll have the forgiveness conversation”. Like when you date people like that, then you can’t make the wrong call or forget or didn’t even know to have a conversation so now it has to be retroactive. And that’s okay like we get it because we’re like we were adulting now.


Cathy: Yeah, and it is it’s a challenging situation of people don’t always control when they fall in love in

It just like Oh crap this happened but being respectful and open as soon as you feel like you can I think that’s important.


Reid: And check out my difficult conversation formula at that can also help the last thing I’ll end on is my experience is that telling somebody sooner is almost better than later. And when you start realizing “oh shit should I have done it by now?” That’s how you know. There are exceptions to this rule, you know an example being somebody they just had somebody close to them pass away. Maybe don’t tell them at the funeral like but again like, kind of can’t wait forever. So have a conversation at some point about how do we handle when there’s information and it doesn’t seem like a good time to have a conversation?


Cathy: And it may not maybe this may not be a fit for everybody but I think there’s a tendency to like however in love and we’re going to tell the person together. It’s really between you and your original partner probably best to leave out a person out.


Reid: for now.


Cathy: Just let your partner have their responses with you and deal with that. Rather than having to deal with negotiating with another person.


Reid: Yeah.


Cathy: We hope this helped.


Reid: And also be aware of new relationship energy, you can Google that and learn what that’s about.


Cathy:  Yeah, we have a video about that, actually.


Reid: Comment. Leave some comments.


Cathy: Thanks for asking.


Reid: Good luck.

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